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Shiloh Walker

Make me forget… The Trouble With Temptation

Trouble With TemptationHannah had a pale, bruised look to her.

Brannon wanted to find whatever had hurt her and tear it apart.

She stood in the doorway, staring at him and he reached up, cupped her face in his hands.

Slowly, he brushed his thumb across her lower lip.

A slow shudder wracked her body.

“What’s happened?” he asked. “What’s hurt you?”

Clouds entered her eyes. “Nothing,” she said, shaking her head. “I’m just…”

She backed up and turned. “Come on in, Brannon.”

Outside, the wind started to howl and she moved over to the window, staring outside. “Rain’s coming.”

After closing and locking the door behind him, he crossed the floor to her.

He had the oddest feeling he was walking on eggshells.

“Unless you’re upset over the weather report, then I don’t care.” He curved his hands over her shoulders and pulled her back against him. “Now if you are upset by the weather… well, I can’t do anything about it. I can’t beat up the meteorologists and Mother Nature never returns my calls.”

“She’s a bitch, isn’t she?” Hannah laughed weakly. Then she dropped her head back against his chest. “Don’t…it’s nothing, Brannon.”

He rubbed his cheek against hers. “That look on your face isn’t nothing.”

“Maybe. But there’s nothing you can do about it.” She turned and slid her arms around his waist. “How is Marc doing?”

He wanted to push it, but figured now wasn’t the time. “Okay. I guess.” Tucking her up snug against him, he rubbed his cheek against her hair. “He’s busying himself with some blends for next year and going crazy about a fungus that he thinks could hit our crops.”

“A fungus.” Hannah wrinkled her nose as she looked up at him. “What, like a grape fungus?”

Brannon flashed her a grin. “The exciting life of a vintner, Hannah.”

“Hmmm. I bet.” She reached up, almost absently, and scraped her fingers against his jaw. “Neve was telling me something about how she’s getting schooled in winemaking—you roped her into helping write copy for the brochures.” A faint grin came and went. “I’ve got to admit, I like my wine, but my eyes glazed over after she started explaining there are like five hundred chemical compounds—”

“Fifteen hundred.”

Hannah blinked and then her eyes really started to glaze. “Ah…whoa. Are you serious?”

“Yeah.” Grinning, he hugged her. “But don’t worry. I won’t bore you with the details and specifics, or tell you why you only find wines like muscadines down south.”

“Gee. Thanks.” She rubbed the mound of her belly and went back to staring outside. Rain was starting to come down. It was those hard, slow drops that were a prelude to a heavy storm. “I really don’t want to talk about muscadine wine anyway. Seeing as how I can’t have any for a few more months.”

A heavy sigh escaped her. “I could really use a glass of wine, too.”

“Why don’t you talk to me instead?”

For a moment, he thought she would.

But then she turned to him and placed her hands on his chest.

His heart made a hard leap when she covered it with her palm. “I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t you distract me?”

Brannon suspected it wasn’t smart.

Whatever was bothering her, she really did need to talk about it. And he needed to be the guy she was able to talk to. He needed to be the guy period, because he was shit-faced in love with her and had been for…hell. He didn’t even know when it had started.

But then she trailed that hand down lower and cupped him through his jeans.

His eyes started to roll back in his head as she freed him from his jeans and briefs in short order. She closed her hand around him, moving with quick, rough strokes that would have had him coming all over her if she wasn’t careful.

He caught her wrist.

“Stop,” he rasped, backing her up against the window.

“I don’t want to.” She lifted her face to his, staring into his eyes. “I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to think. I just…want.”

“Hannah…” His heart broke a little.

“Make love to me, Brannon.” There was both plea and demand in her voice.

He was completely her slave, because he couldn’t deny her.

“I will.” He went to strip her shirt away, but she shoved him back and yanked it off.

“I don’t want slow.” She stared at him, a challenge in her eyes. “I don’t want sweet and I don’t want you to stroke me and pat me and try to make me feel better.”

She caught the lapels of his shirt and jerked him back to her.

“Then what do you want?”

“I want you to fuck me.” She stared at him, her gaze unapologetic. “I want you to make me forget all the things I’m starting to remember…and all the things I can’t.”

There, he realized.

That’s where the hurt was. Right there. But he couldn’t fix it. All he could do was be there…and this. He could do exactly what she’d just asked and he’d enjoy it. He’d enjoy it and pretend the twist and rub of guilt didn’t exist. He could ignore the guilt.

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Love is the greatest risk of all.
After seven days in a coma, Hannah Parker remembers nothing about the accident that landed her in the hospital–or how she ended up pregnant with Brannon’s baby, the man she’s loved since high school. Her body and heart have burned for him for years, and when she wakes up, he’s sleeping by her bedside, anxious to keep her safe at all costs. But as Hannah struggles with her amnesia, a threat looms closer–one that could have deadly consequences if she recovers her memories. She will have to trust Brannon completely if she is to keep what haunts her at bay…and their baby safe….

Brannon McKay spent the last ten years fantasizing about Hannah. In his mind, he’s explored every passionate scenario he can think of while, in real life, Brannon took their budding relationship and threw it away with both hands. Hannah doesn’t remember what happened but now that she is awake, Brannon would rather die than watch her walk away again. When Hannah and his unborn child’s lives are threatened, Brannon must stake claim to the woman who has held his heart captive for years…or risk disaster tearing them apart…

#IwasVeyed – Barbara Vey Weekend 2016

This is the catchphrase that Jade Lee introduced us to sort of explain the experience you have when you’re fortunate enough to meet Barbara Vey.

And it’s an experience.  🙂  I met Barbara a while ago and she’s a lovely woman, an avid supporter of authors, readers, the romance genre and reading in general. She is so much of a supporter of reading, she can be lying on a surgical table and instead of asking questions abouttable the upcoming surgery, she will ask her nurse if she likes to read…

The nurse said no.

She said she wanted another nurse…and apparently somebody on her surgical team recognized her from that alone!  Yes…this is the story she told at the Barbara Vey Weekend this past Saturday.

It’s a fun time…so much fun.  Authors decorate up their tables…I was a little too spazzed out and trying to take it all in to grab pictures (yes…I didn’t grab a lot of pictures…let that settle in), but I did take one of mine.  I went with a mash-up of sorts with booklovers and the upcoming Kentucky Derby & Oaks.

giftEach table has one author paired with seven readers–readers choose who they want to sit with and some of the authors, like the big mega names sell out fast.  I had some lovely ladies sitting with me…and one of the made me an adorable bracelet with the covers from my McKay series. She also had this Star Wars purse–I wanted it so bad.

After the luncheon, there’s a huge signing and later on, there is a pizza party, followed by games.  One of them was romance mad-libs.  I have to tell you…a whole bunch of people discovered that if I get started on laughing, I sometimes can’t stop.  And sometimes, it triggers my asthma. o.o  I probably looked like a maniac.

Sunday was breakfast and a little more low key. Again, I had a table full of lovely readers and then I was on the road.

It was a fantastic event and I hope to have the chance to go again.

And if you have the chance to go? Do it. Read more about Barbara and her weekend here

Barbara Vey Weekend

Oh, those tropes…

I’ve mentioned the tropes before. The romance storylines… friends to lovers, friends to lovers, brother’s best friend…amnesia pregnancy.

I’ve done quite a few tropes, but this is my first time with pregnancy and amnesia.

It’s due out next week. You should read it.

amnesia romance

Love is the greatest risk of all.
After seven days in a coma, Hannah Parker remembers nothing about the accident that landed her in the hospital–or how she ended up pregnant with Brannon’s baby, the man she’s loved since high school. Her body and heart have burned for him for years, and when she wakes up, he’s sleeping by her bedside, anxious to keep her safe at all costs. But as Hannah struggles with her amnesia, a threat looms closer–one that could have deadly consequences if she recovers her memories. She will have to trust Brannon completely if she is to keep what haunts her at bay…and their baby safe….

Brannon McKay spent the last ten years fantasizing about Hannah. In his mind, he’s explored every passionate scenario he can think of while, in real life, Brannon took their budding relationship and threw it away with both hands. Hannah doesn’t remember what happened but now that she is awake, Brannon would rather die than watch her walk away again. When Hannah and his unborn child’s lives are threatened, Brannon must stake claim to the woman who has held his heart captive for years…or risk disaster tearing them apart…

excerpt

Hannah eased away, looking at him from under her lashes.

Her tongue slid out, wet her lips and he had to clench his jaw, remind himself of just how fragile she was right now—not just physically, either.  He could still see fading bruises on her face, the fading pink marks on her hands from where she’d been cut when the car wrecked.

It got so much harder to remember that when she reached up and touched his mouth.

“I know we’ve kissed,” she said, her voice low and husky.   “Sometimes, I almost think I remember it.  But then it’s gone.  And it’s driving me crazy.”

“Hannah…”

Her gaze dropped to his mouth, lingered there a moment and then she looked back at him.

Her eyes were huge and dark, a heat burning there that threatened to consume him—and damn if he’d mind.

“I want that memory back, Brannon.  I want to know how you taste, how your mouth feels on mine.  Will you kiss me?”

Well, hell.  It would take a stronger man than him to walk away from that.

Cupping her face in his hands, he arched her head back.  Their first kiss had been a mix of fury and frustrated passion.  This one wouldn’t be like that.  He’d kiss her the way he should have kissed her to begin with.

Slowly, he lowered his head, brushing his mouth against hers, once, twice.

Her lips parted on a sigh.

But he didn’t take that offering just yet.

Instead, he caught her lower lip between his and sucked lightly, listening as her breathing hitched.  Her hands came up to grasp his waist and he moved in closer, letting his body rest against the powerhouse curves of hers.

She made a hungry noise in her throat and opened her mouth under his.

Still, he didn’t deepen the kiss—much.

He traced the line of her lips with his tongue, learning the curves as if this was the first time he’d ever had the chance. For her, it was.  Maybe it was for him, too.  They’d start over.  Completely over.  And he’d make sure that this time, she knew she mattered to him.

Hannah grew impatient and tried to take control of the kiss, her tongue coming out to curl and stroke against his.  He eased back, whispering against her lips.  “You wanted me to kiss you, baby.”

“Then do it.”  She bit his lower lip.

That demanding nip set his blood to boiling but he kept an iron grip on his control, teasing the entrance of her mouth with quick, light strokes,  She caught his tongue and sucked on him and the blood began to drain southward, his cock thickening.

Just a kiss, he told himself.  Just a kiss.

Her hands slid down to grab his hips, pulling him more firmly against her and he had to keep reminding himself that this was just a kiss.  Nothing more.

Her breathing sped up.

His heart pounded harder, faster.

The taste of her flooded him as he sought out the hidden depths of her mouth, learning her in a way he’d never taken the time to do before.

She began to move against him, her hips circling impatiently.  But he was still in control.  He thought.  Right up until she slid a hand between them.  A shudder wracked him as she stroked him through his jeans.

Aw, fuck…

A fist pounded against the door.

They broke apart, panting and staring at each other.

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Shadowed Blade….out now!

Out now…

Shadowed Blade

Hell took the form of Damon shifting to his half form, over seven feet tall, his muscled pelt covered in a golden pelt and spotted. His clothes fell in shreds around him as he launched himself at Scott.

My mind denied what it was seeing.

Scott flung up a hand and Damon flew to the far side of the room while Scott leaped toward me. I whipped up my sword, my mind furiously trying catch up with what was going on. “Stay back,” I warned.

A grin—one that seemed both insanely out of place and strangely familiar—twisted Scott’s lips.

“Now, now, Kit…is that any way to say hello to an old friend?”

The voice—oh, shit.

Those words had no sooner left his lips than a growl ripped out of the shifters who’d burst into the room like their lives depended on it.

And one of them was…Scott.

Damon was off the floor and moving again.

Instinct screamed.

Move now—think later.

I swore as I dove for Damon and the Scott-lookalike. “I’m going to kill you,” I told the man who’d somehow managed to sneak into the Lair. Of all places.

He chuckled, his visage starting to waver. “You won’t be saying that in a minute. I’m here for a reason…you know that.”

He leaped up and in a movement that defied physics—and the human body—as he flipped and sailed through the air, placing his body behind mine.

Damon made a deep, deep noise, one that spoke of fury—and I heard something else, too.

Perhaps Chang would recognize it, but I doubted anybody else would.

It was fear.

He saw only some unknown enemy and the man was now at my back.

I held up a hand. “Stop…Damon…stop. He’s not…” I heaved out a breath before I said the one thing that might keep the man in front of me from trying to kill the man behind me. “He’s a friend. He’s saved my life twice now.”

Damon slowed for a split second, but nothing changed the animalistic set to his features.

Behind me, there was a faint whisper. “You’d think I’d remember how sharp their noses are, wouldn’t you?”

“I hope you enjoyed yourself,” Damon said, his voice a predatory growl. “Every man should have a little fun before he dies.”

“Oh, I don’t do this for fun, son. Trust me, this is a pain in the ass.”

“Don’t be a more of a moron than you already are,” I snapped over my shoulder.

Chang was staring at the man behind me with eyes that promised death. This was going to be ugly. The man had breached their home—their safehold. Unless he had a good reason for doing that…

Damon made another move toward me, green-gold eyes locked on the intruder.

“Damon…I know him.” I reached back, daring to risk one quick glance—my eyes connected with eyes of pure white—all white. No pupil, no discernible iris and whiter than any mortal eye should be.

And Nova, for all intents and purposes, was mortal.

A freakishly powerful mortal with psychic skills that weren’t supposed to exist, but still, he was mortal.

“Hello, Nova.”

He looked at me and grinned. “Kit.”

Damon took a step forward.

Chang placed a hand on his shoulder and they shared a look. The subtle nod Damon gave the other man unsettled me and I pondered ripping my hair out when Chang was the one to move forward to meet Nova.

I wouldn’t call Damon the more reasonable one of the two, but there were times I could get Damon to listen to me. If Chang made up his mind…

Nova slid to the side, shifting so that he faced all of us, although he was clearly keeping his focus on the shifters. “Come on, boys…let’s all take a deep breath and calm down.” He shot them what was considered his…less crazy smile. “I’ve been here three times today and I’ve called five asking, then demanding then begging to speak to Kit. It’s urgent, I said. It’s life or death, I said. And I’m told to leave a message at her office.”

He snorted and shot me a sidelong look. “Kit, how often do you check messages at your office?”

“Get to the point, Nova.”

He hitched up a shoulder. “I’m trying to be polite and explain why I felt the need to take drastic measures, Kit. In a minute, you’ll be just as pissed as I am. The third time I came to the gate and said I absolutely had to see you…” The whites of his eyes started to glow.

Oh, fuck…

“See, I was told, We don’t listen to urgent messages from the likes of you, meat. Get out.” Nova’s smile went cold. “The guards you have at the door really should show more courtesy—I could have turned them into meat. But I showed restraint.”

Chang made no response, just took another slow step toward Nova.

“You really should have left a message at her office,” Damon said.

“Kit sucks at checking her messages. I thought this kind of thing—the lives of some friends and all—was a bit more important.” Nova cocked his head. “But if not…well, we can get downright nasty in here.”

Lives of some friends…?

“Nova?” I whispered.

Scott—the real one—had circled around. I whipped my gun out and leveled it at his knee. “Don’t. I like you, Scott, but if you even think of trying to move me out of the way…I’ll put you on the ground.”

Nova chuckled. “Now it gets fun.”

I fought the urge to turn and punch him in the nose. “One of these days, I’ll find a way to thank Justin properly for introducing us, Nova.”

“You can do that by saving his life, Kit. Now…”

I spun to stare at him, the gun falling limp to my side. I was the one to lunge for Nova. And he didn’t try to stop me. “What?”

“Now…ask me why I’m here,” he said gently.

“Nova.”

“Somebody grabbed Colleen and Justin, Kit.”

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Shadowed Blade…Chapter One

Something wicked this way comes…
The arrival of a very important person in her office seemed to be the start of a lot of problems for Kit Colbana, investigator extraordinaire.  Claiming that he needed somebody with her special skillset, he sends her on a series of jobs that made little to no sense until one culminated with both her and her partner, Justin barely escaping with their lives.
Back in Orlando, they go their separate ways to recover, Justin heading to the house of a local witch, while Kit returns to the Lair, where she’s recently been living with her lover Damon, the Alpha of the Southern Cat Clans.
There’s barely a chance for to catch her breath before trouble of the highest order comes knocking on her door. This time, it’s the form of a psychic by the name of Nova.  Nova has bad, bad news…Justin has gone missing and so has the witch who was going to put him up while he healed. Colleen, one of Kit’s closest, dearest friends.
With all sorts of non-humans disappearing, fury doesn’t even touch what Kit is feeling as she heads out to hunt down the people responsible.
But Kit isn’t the only one out on a hunt…somebody is hunting for her…somebody Kit would rather never, ever see again.
*****
Kit Colbana series
It was just pure dumb luck that I found her at all.
The… Well, I can’t say it was a house, but it had been her home. She’d left it weeks ago, maybe longer. It was dying, too.
Granted, when I’d been sent out to look for her, I’d thought maybe it was another wild goose chase—the first job had been a pain in the ass, too.
But this one…
Hell.
I was staring at a dryad.
A real dryad.
She turned her head and stared at me with eyes the color of good, strong oak. In her hand, she had a branch she used to draw circles in the earth.
After a few seconds of us studying each other, she went back to looking out over the river, her gaze sad.
“What is it you want?” she asked, her voice reedy and thin.
Like she was fading, dying as swiftly as the tree she’d left behind.
As I fumbled for an answer, she lifted the branch and plucked off one of the leaves. They were still green. But the moment she plucked that single leaf away, it withered, shriveled, and then it was dust—even before it hit the ground.
“I…” Uneasy, I licked my lips. “Your tree is dying.”
“No.” Those dark brown eyes came back to mine. “It is already dead. It died when I left it. It just hasn’t figured that out yet. It will. But that isn’t what you want.”
“Why did you leave it?”
“Because the wind whispered it was time.” She lifted a shoulder and the wispy strips of cloth that made up her garments drifted with the movement before settling back into black. She was more naked than clothed—covered at her breasts and hips. Her skin was a mottled mix of brown and tan. She could stand in the trees and scarcely be seen, but standing out here on the side of the road and gazing into the river, she stood out.
That was how I’d found her.
I’d been heading back to East Orlando, carefully thinking through the call I’d have to make, when I saw her. I’d been driving the backroads, mostly because I wanted to think, and all the traffic on the main roads annoyed me.
The last thought I’d had before caught sight of the woman had been…I never should have taken this stupid job.
My current client—I now realized—was a self-important, pompous prick.
But I’d accepted the contract, and for another three weeks, I was giving him twenty hours a week for work of a sensitive nature. His term, not mine.
The first job, I’d been asked to find out if there was any truth to the rumors of a Green Man who might be living in Alabama—he had a locale and a few names; he wanted me to look around and see what I thought. I’d also been asked to talk to the families of a couple missing NHs while in the area. Missing non-humans was why I’d taken the damn job to begin with.
Missing people. He had connections.
There weren’t many who had more connections than the President of the United States of America, after all.
When I’d told him I didn’t see the connection between a possible Green Man and the disappearances, he’d pointed out that a Green Man would have ways of seeing things happening in nature that I could never see.
Well…true enough.
But if there was something weirder than a shifter in those decaying woods, then I hadn’t felt it.
My boss hadn’t seemed bothered when I’d been unsuccessful. But I hadn’t wanted to tell him I’d found a dryad’s tree…and no dryad.
Right now, though, I wanted even less to tell him I’d found the dryad.
“The wind told you it was time?” Raking her up and down with a look, I shook my head. “What else is the wind telling you to do?”
“The wind tells me to do nothing.” A serene smile curled her lips as she plucked off another leaf. This time, when it shriveled and faded, she seemed to fade a little more, too.
Oh, shit.
“Is that from your tree?” I asked softly.
“Yes. All that is left, all that is living.” She plucked another leaf. “Once it is gone…”
“So why are you killing it?”
“Because unlike Albus, I am not strong. I cannot stand up to pain and torture. Even cutting down a single tree would break me, and he has much more in mind than cutting down trees.”
Abruptly, she wrenched a handful of leaves, four, five, six… Dust blew around me and I rushed to her as she swayed, then staggered. She felt lighter than air as I eased her down. Her skin felt like the smooth bark on a young tree. “What are you talking about?”
She just shook her head. “It’s been a long time coming. This…this is best. I’ll see Albus soon.”
She tried to fumble a few more leaves off but her hands shook too much.
“Please.” She looked at me.
My phone rang.
She continued to watch me with those calm, patient eyes. Patient, solid.
Like an oak.
I took the branch and stripped the remaining leaves off as the phone rang again.
By the third ring, she was withering away, turning to nothing but dust and ash that blew away in the soft, chilly fall breeze.
I answered the fourth ring.
“Ms. Colbana, I was calling for an update.”
“I found her.” Dragging a finger through the dust, I rose to my feet and stared down. Even the branch was gone. “She’s dead, sir.”
*
“He’s pissed.”
Shanelle Maguire was a beautiful bitch and she delivered the words in a stark voice as she dropped into the chair across from my desk.
“I gathered that.” I’d just finish talking to him myself. Whitmore was a pain in the ass. “Did he send you here to snarl and snap at me in hopes of making me do better?”
She snorted. “Like that’d do any good.” She skimmed her hands back over her hair in what I’d come to realize was a nervous habit. Beautiful bitch or not, I’d come to sort of like her over the past ten days. She was blunt and didn’t hold back the truth, something I could definitely appreciate.
She was also manipulative as hell—something I less appreciated—but she knew how to make things happen. “Look, I was standing out—”
“This is my shocked face.”
“Shut up,” she said, sighing in annoyance. “I heard you explaining what happened. What were you going to do? She wanted to die.
 Although…wow. Picking leaves off a tree branch—that’s crazy.”
“Dryads have a connection to their chosen trees.” I shrugged and thought of the forest giant I’d gone back to look at before returning home. It hadn’t turned to dust, but it was dead. It had been an oddity, standing there in the middle of the forest where so many trees had already gone brilliantly orange and yellow, but its leaves had been green…mostly. Some, though, had been going brown. Not yellow or orange, the way you’d think.
But brown.
All the leaves had been gone the second time I saw it and the branches hung despondent, as if the tree’s strength had simply drained out of it with the life of the dryad gone. I’d touched the bark and it had crumbled under the light pressure.
A few storms, a few hard rains, and it would come crashing down.
“So she just lay there, plucked the last few leaves and died, huh?” Shanelle wasn’t even looking at me. She was staring off at nothing, looking about as tired as I felt—although I doubted it was for the same reason.
“Faded into dust,” I said, carefully dancing around the fact that I wasn’t telling the complete truth. I’d had to do the same with Whitmore, but for some reason, I was reluctant to explain that I had been the one to strip away those few remaining leaves.
Whitmore had really wanted to talk to that dryad.
My gut was all twisted and hot as I remembered what she had said.
“Because unlike Albus, I am not strong. I cannot stand up to pain and torture. Even cutting down a single tree would break me and he has much more in mind than cutting down trees.”
Who was Albus?
Who was the he she’d been referring to? I had a bad feeling it might be my client—but there was no way I could even try to figure that out without questioning him; everything in me was saying Don’t…
I thought of asking Shanelle, probing gently. I knew how to dance around things and be subtle. It wasn’t my greatest skill, but I could do it.
While I was debating, though, the door swung open.
The sight of the man standing there was enough to distract me, though.
“Justin…”
I hurtled across the room and caught him up in a hug so hard, he was laughing and wheezing at the same time. “Careful there, Kit…I break.”
I didn’t care. “You’re awake.”
“Seems that way. Although if you keep squeezing the life out of me…”
Two weeks ago, Justin had almost died. The first week, he’d been in a coma. He’d started to stir, but another friend of ours, Colleen had used her healing to put him back under.
“The swelling in his brain has gone down, but there’s still a lot of healing to do—the area of the brain that controls magic has been heavily damaged and the longer he rests, the more likely it will be that he’ll regain full control.”
We’d agreed. He needed to stay asleep for a bit longer, but Colleen could only hold him for a few more days before she had to bring him back.
“I didn’t know she was letting you up today.”
He patted my back when I sniffed.
Absently, I’d realized Shanelle had left and I still needed to talk to her. But that could wait.
need to get caught up? Books 1-4 are all on sale…
Book #1
Book #2
Book #3
 Book #4

Mod Podge Hodge Modge & Book Art

I’ve figured out a way to use up the paper from the edits I get back.  Paper mache type stuff and book art.  Sorta.  I’m still figuring it out.

ornament

These are still in progress, but there’s a bottle I’m doing, a bowl and a cup-like thing that can be used as a pencil/pen holder.
paperI’ve also discovered something that might be borderline criminal…my kids never learned paper mache in school.  So I’m teaching my daughter.